Fuel Your Creativity with J.Q. Rose and Flower arranging.

Today, I’m welcoming one of my critique partners, J. Q. Rose. As a former florist, she knows all about how to make your flower arrangements look beautiful and last longer. She uses this expertise in her latest novel, Coda to Murder.


Hello, Joselyn. Thanks so much for hosting me today so I can get the word out about my new mystery/romance, Coda to Murder.

Readers, Please leave a comment below. Each comment will enter you in the random drawing for prizes at the conclusion of the Coda to Murder virtual book tour. I’m looking forward to questions and/or waves from you all.

As you know Joselyn is an excellent storyteller and seamstress. I love reading her stories that take place in small towns. Looking forward to her next release soon!

If you are a follower here, you are aware of Joselyn’s skill in taking a plain t-shirt and transforming it into a stylish garment. She’s a crafty gal, and I mean that in a good way!

I can barely sew on a button, but I can design floral arrangements. I was a florist for twenty years and taught a few basic floral design workshops at our shop after hours. I really enjoyed sharing the joy of working with flowers with all the participants, so I thought I would let you in on some flower arranging tips.

Basic Fresh Floral Design Tips by J.Q. Rose


  1. It’s very important to always cut the stems on a slant in order to allow more surface area for water to enter the stem. Allow the flowers to soak up the warm, not hot, not cold, water with dissolved preservative before beginning your design.
  2. Use a very sharp knife or scissors to cut the stems. Dull tools will crush the stem and not allow the flower to drink up the water.
  3. If you use wet foam for your arrangement, be sure to place the foam in a bucket of warm water with preservative dissolved in it. Then place the foam, cut to fit your container, into the water, but don’t hold it down in the bucket. Every inch of the foam needs to be wet. If you hold it down for a couple of minutes, water does not reach all parts of it and may leave air holes in the material. Your flower could dry out because the stem end is in air and not water. So leave it in to soak up all the water. You can tell when you pick it up if the block is full or not by the weight.
  4. If making a “plunk-it” arrangement in a vase, simply bring the vase to the edge of the counter, hold the flower bunch next to the vase, and determine how tall or short you want the arrangement to be.  Cut at the point where the flower stems are even with the top of the counter.  Then “plunk” the flowers in the vase immediately. Easy-peasy.
  5. Always give a fresh cut to the flower stem before placing it in the arrangement.
  6. When making a centerpiece, determine the width and length by placing a flower or greens at north, south, east, and west. Determine the height by placing a flower in the center. Just remember to start your arrangement with five flowers, then fill in.
  7. Don’t forget to use green foliages to make a lovely background for the flowers to show off their colors.
  8. Include three shapes of flowers in mixed bouquets—a spike flower e.g. gladiola or snapdragon, round flower e.g. carnation or mum, and a form flower e.g. iris or rose.
  9. Usually, and I say usually because the rule is to place lighter colors at the top of an arrangement and darker colors at the base. But rules are made to be broken, so design your piece to please your eye.
  10. Leave space around each flower so you can see each one. Don’t cram them together so tightly that the viewer can’t appreciate each beautiful face.
  11. The most important rule is to make a bouquet that you will enjoy.
  12. Really, how can you go wrong when working with brilliant colors, intersting shapes, and pleasant fragrances? You can’t!

Coda To Murder book cover

BACK OF THE COVER– Coda to Murder  


Pastor Christine Hobbs has been in the pulpit business for over five years. She never imagined herself caring for a flock that includes a pig, a kangaroo, and a murderer.

Detective Cole Stephens doesn’t want the pretty pastor to get away with murdering the church music director. His investigative methods infuriate Christine as much as his deep brown eyes attract her.

Can they find the real killer and build a loving relationship based on trust?

Connect with J.Q. Rose online at

Blog tour information


J.Q. Rose blog http://www.jqrose.com/

Girls Succeed blog http://girlssucceed.blogspot.com/

Author website http://jqrose.webs.com/

J. Q.  Rose Amazon Author Page http://tinyurl.com/aeuv4m4

Goodreads- http://www.goodreads.com/jqrose

Pinterest http://pinterest.com/janetglaser/



  1. Thank you, Joselyn, for hosting me. I enjoy arranging flowers from my back yard in the summer. I can just plunk them in a vase or float them in a beautiful crystal bowl to add color to my kitchen or table. My favorites to float are pansies and roses, of course. Just put a few leaves under the petals so the flower can stay upright and float.


    1. You’re welcome. I love the idea of floating blossoms in water.


  2. Wow, JQ – writer/gardener/flower arranger – Jack of all trades! I envy those who can grow things. My thumb is so very black!
    Great post and thanks for the tips….


    1. Hmmm, Penny, I think I would be Janet of all trades..LOL..I must confess I am not the gardener in the family. I just reap the benefit of my husband’s hard work and energy he puts into growing a garden almost 12 months out of the year. Thanks for your kind comment.


  3. Thanks for the info, JQ! Love flowers, not much good at arranging. I like the 5 flowers tip.


    1. Aha, Tess, maybe you will be inspired to try your hand at it. I bet your girls could do a great job too!


  4. I learn something new about you every day, JQ. How talented you are. I can’t even grow a houseplant let alone flowers outside. It’s funny, but I can grow a heck of a vegetable garden. Go figure. I can’t wait to read your book.


  5. Lorrie, I enjoy the flowers as food for the soul, but the veggie garden is food for the tummy and especially delicious when freshly picked. Thanks for stopping in today. Love your encouragement and support.


  6. JQ: Great tips! I just love to have fresh flowers on my kitchen table. They make me smile every time I look at them and even more so now I have your great tips!


    1. Yes, Wendy, having a bouquet on my table brightens my day too. Glad you can use the tips.


  7. Very impressive, JQ. Such a multi-talented lady! I’d love to have fresh flowers, but my cats would eat them. The only plants I have hang high above sea level. Maybe sometime you can show off some of your lovely floral arrangements, for those of us who can only dream about them. Best to you and your Coda to Murder!


  8. Hi Pat. My daughter has a cat and I understand completely. She’s had many a vase of flowers knocked over and a mess to clean up when Otis, the cat, decided he wanted a snack. !! Good idea for a summer blog post…photos of flowers. I especially love glads..gladiolas, the tall spiky flowers. Just a bunch in a vase is striking and fun to watch as each day another bud opens up on the stem. BTW, a tip…if you purchase the bunch and it is not showing much color, be sure to put the stems in warm water, then pop off the tips to force them to open. Thanks for dropping in.


  9. Hey, J.Q. Interesting post. Appreciate the reminder about cutting on the diagonal. In another life, while in college I lived in a room in a woman’s house close to the school. She did artifical flower arrangements and taught me some of her skills. Artificial is so practical, but real is better for all kinds of reasons. I’ve got Coda on my Nook in the TBR file. Good luck with sales.


    1. Hi Marsha. Yes the same rules apply for silk flower arranging. The best thing is if you cut an artificial flower too short, you just add a wired pick or wire to extend the length. Not possible with fresh…!!! I like fresh because you don’t have to dust the flowers!! Thanks for putting Coda on your Nook. Hope you enjoy the read.


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